Demarcation of fluoride vulnerability zones in granitic aquifer, semi-arid region, Telengana, India

  • Ankita ChatterjeeEmail author
  • Sarah Sarah
  • Pagodala Damodaram Sreedevi
  • Adrien Selles
  • Shakeel Ahmed
Original Paper


This study has been carried out in the granitic aquifer of Maheshwaram watershed, Telengana, India. In this study, groundwater sample data of 8 years were analyzed for the fluoride content with other chemical quality parameters. The correlation and factor analysis were employed to understand the mechanisms for fluoride (F) enrichment as well as the hydrochemistry of the area. These analyses addressed that the observed groundwater quality was due to water-rock interaction in the aquifer and fluoride is coming from the dissolution of fluorite and other silicate minerals like biotite and hornblende by the groundwater. Land use/land cover (LULC) study from 2002 to 2008 revealed there were significant positive changes in build-up land and negative changes in vegetation cover after 2003. The main agriculture (paddy) has been reduced to 0.97 km2 in 2008 from 2.39 km2 in 2003. The studied watershed has been characterized on the basis of F concentration into safe, transition, and unsafe groups following the WHO and BIS guidelines. The temporal variation of the three groups showed that 57.6% area of the watershed was in unsafe zone in 2000–2003, but 69.2% of the area became safe in 2006–2009. It has been found that F concentration reduced in 12.59% of the area (became safe from unsafe) accompanied by the reduction of paddy field area. After validation with present (2016) fluoride concentrations, it was found that 16.28% are vulnerable in near future. The results of this study showed that (a) the safe and unsafe zones of fluoride concentrations vary with time with the changes in other parameters associated with it like crop pattern and (b) vulnerable zone can be identified based on the susceptibility to change of safe and unsafe zones. Such studies are useful for planning and management purposes.


Fluoride contamination Vulnerability Groundwater Granite hard rock 



The authors are thankful to Dr. V.M. Tiwari, Director, CSIR–NGRI for permission to publish the paper. This study was carried out at the Indo-French Centre for Groundwater Research (BRGM–NGRI). Thanks are also due to the three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments that improved the quality of this manuscript significantly.


  1. Adams S, Titus R, Pietersen K, Tredoux G, Harris C (2001) Hydrochemical characteristics of aquifers near Sutherland in the Western Karoo, South Africa. J Hydrol 241(1-2):91–103. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adimalla N, Venkatayogi S (2017) Mechanism of fluoride enrichment in groundwater of hard rock aquifers in Medak, Telangana State, South India. Environ Earth Sci 76(1):45. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahmed S, Bertrand F, Saxena VK, Subrahmanyam K, Touchard F (2002) A geostatistical method of determining priority of measurement wells in a fluoride monitoring network in an aquifer. J Appl Geochem 4(2B):576–585Google Scholar
  4. Aller L, Lehr JH, Petty R, Bennett T (1987) DRASTIC: a standardized system to evaluate groundwater pollution potential using hydrogeologic settings. National Water Well Association, WorthingtonGoogle Scholar
  5. Amini M, Mueller K, Abbaspour KC, Rosenberg T, Afyuni M, Moller KN, Johnson CA (2008) Statistical modeling of global geogenic fluoride contamination in groundwaters. Environ Sci Technol 42(10):3662–3668. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Apambire WB, Boyle DR, Michel FA (1997) Geochemistry, genesis, and health implications of fluoriferous groundwaters in the upper regions of Ghana. Environ Geol 33(1):13–24. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Atal S. (2009) Development strategy and risk management of excessive fluoride bearing hard rock aquifer. (Unpublished Ph.D. thesis).Osmania University, Hyderabad, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  8. Atal S, Mascré C, Ahmed S, Pauwels H, Perrin J (2009) Identification of geogenic sources of fluoride in hard rock regions: a case study from southern India. In: Water, Environment, Energy& Society (WEES-09)Google Scholar
  9. Atal S, Negrel P, Pauwels H, Mascre C, Ahmed S (2011) Double correction technique for characterising groundwater quality zones: a case study from granitic setting, India. Water Qual Expo Health 2(3-4):133–146. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ayoob S, Gupta AK (2006) Fluoride in drinking water: a review on the status and stress effects. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 36(6):433–487. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. BIS (2012) Bureau of Indian Standards specification for drinking water. IS: 10500:91. Revised 2012, Bureau of Indian Standards, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  12. Brindha K, Rajesh R, Murugan R, Elango L (2011) Fluoride contamination in groundwater in parts of Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Environ Monit Assess 172(1):481–492. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Causapé J, Quílez D, Aragüés R (2006) Irrigation efficiency and quality of irrigation return flows in the Ebro River basin: an overview. Environ Monit Assess 117(1):451–461. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. CGWB (2010) (Central Ground Water Board), Ministry of water resources, Government of India. Ground water quality in shallow aquifers of IndiaGoogle Scholar
  15. Chand R, Chandra S, Rao VA, Singh VS, Jain SC (2004) Estimation of natural recharge and its dependency on sub-surface geoelectric parameters. J Hydrol 299(1):67–83. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chen K, Jiao JJ, Huang J, Huang R (2007) Multivariate statistical evaluation of trace elements in groundwater in a coastal area in Shenzhen, China. Environ Pollut 147(3):771–780. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chenini I, Mammou AB, El May M (2010) Groundwater recharge zone mapping using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis: a case study in Central Tunisia (Maknassy Basin). Water Resour Manag 24(5):921–939. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Currell M, Cartwright I, Raveggi M, Han D (2011) Controls on elevated fluoride and arsenic concentrations in groundwater from the Yuncheng Basin, China. Appl Geochem 26(4):540–552. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dewandel B, Lachassagne P, Wyns R, Maréchal JC, Krishnamurthy NS (2006) A generalized 3-D geological and hydrogeological conceptual model of granite aquifers controlled by single or multiphase weathering. J Hydrol 330(1):260–284. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dhiman SD, Keshari AK (2006) Hydrogeochemical evaluation of high-fluoride groundwaters: a case study from Mehsana District, Gujarat, India. Hydrol Sci J 51(6):1149–1162. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Edmunds WM, Smedley PL (2005) Fluoride in natural waters. In: Selinus O (ed) Essentials of medical geology. Elsevier Academic Press, London, pp 301–329Google Scholar
  22. Engert PA, Lansdowne ZF (1999) Risk matrix user’s guide. MA. The MITRE Corporation, BedfordGoogle Scholar
  23. Fawell J, Bailey K, Chilton J, Dahi E, Fewtrell L, Magara Y (2006) Fluoride in drinking water. IWA, LondonGoogle Scholar
  24. Fisher RS, Mullican IIIWF (1997) Hydrochemical evolution of sodium-sulfate and sodium-chloride groundwater beneath the northern Chihuahuan Desert, Trans-Pecos, Texas, USA. Hydrogeol J 5(2):4–16. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Foster SSD, Hirata R (1988) Groundwater pollution risk assessment. A methodology using available data. Pan Ame. Cent. for Sanit. Engin. and Envir. Scien.(cepis). LimaGoogle Scholar
  26. Genxu W, Guodong C (2001) Fluoride distribution in water and the governing factors of environment in arid north-west China. J Arid Environ 49(3):601–614. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. GSI (2002) Geological map: Hyderabad quadrangle—Andhra Pradesh. Geol, Survey of IndiaGoogle Scholar
  28. Guo H, Wang Y (2005) Geochemical characteristics of shallow groundwater in Datong basin, northwestern China. J Geochem Explor 87(3):109–120. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Guo Q, Wang Y, Ma T, Ma R (2007) Geochemical processes controlling the elevated fluoride concentrations in groundwaters of the Taiyuan Basin, Northern China. J Geochem Explor 93(1):1–12. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hallett BM, Dharmagunawardhane HA, Atal S, Valsami-Jones E, Ahmed S, Burgess WG (2015) Mineralogical sources of groundwater fluoride in Archaen bedrock/regolith aquifers: mass balances from southern India and north-central Sri Lanka. J Hydrol Reg Stud 4:111–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Handa BK (1975) Geochemistry and genesis of fluoride-containing ground waters in India. Ground Water 13(3):275–281. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hu S, Luo T, Jing C (2013) Principal component analysis of fluoride geochemistry of groundwater in Shanxi and Inner Mongolia, China. J Geochem Explor 135:124–129. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jacks G, Bhattacharya P, Chaudhary V, Singh KP (2005) Controls on the genesis of some high-fluoride groundwaters in India. Appl Geochem 20(2):221–228. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jalali M (2007) Salinization of groundwater in arid and semi-arid zones: an example from Tajarak, western Iran. Environ Geol 52(6):1133–1149. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jankowski J, Acworth RI (1997) Impact of debris flow deposits on hydrogeochemical process and the development of dry land salinity in the Yass River catchment, New South Wales, Australia. Hydrogeol J 5(4):71–88. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jeong CH (2001) Effect of land use and urbanization on hydrochemistry and contamination of groundwater from Taejon area, Korea. J Hydrol 253(1):194–210. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Johnson A, Abbaspour K, Amini M, Bader HP, Berg M, Hoehn E, Hug S, Mosler HJ, Muller K, Rosenberg T, Scheidegger R, Winkel L, Yang H, Zurbrugg C (2008) Geogenic contaminants. Research Reports. Eawag News 65e/December pp 16–19Google Scholar
  38. Khan HH, Khan A, Ahmed S, Perrin J (2011) GIS-based impact assessment of land-use changes on groundwater quality: study from a rapidly urbanizing region of South India. Environ Earth Sci 63(6):1289–1302. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Krapac IG, Dey WS, Roy WR, Jellerichs BG, Symth C (2000) Groundwater quality near livestock manure pits. In animal, agricultural and food processing wastes. Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium, Des Moines, Iowa, USA. American Society of Agricultural Engineers 9-11October 2000 pp.710-718Google Scholar
  40. Kumar D (2004) Conceptualization and optimal data requirement in simulating flow in weathered-fractured aquifers for groundwater management. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Osmania University, Hyderabad, 263 pp.Google Scholar
  41. Kumar S, Saxena A (2011) Chemical weathering of the Indo-Gangetic Alluvium with special reference to release of fluoride in the groundwater, Unnao district, Uttar Pradesh. J Geol Soc India 77(5):459–477. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Li J, Wang Y, Xie X, Su C (2012) Hierarchical cluster analysis of arsenic and fluoride enrichments in groundwater from the Datong basin, Northern China. J Geochem Explor 118:7789CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Li C, Gao X, Wang Y (2015) Hydrogeochemistry of high-fluoride groundwater at Yuncheng Basin, Northern China. Sci Total Environ 508:155–165. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Maréchal JC, Dewandel B, Subrahmanyam K (2004) Use of hydraulic tests at different scales to characterize fracture network properties in the weathered-fractured layer of a hard rock aquifer Water resources research 40;11Google Scholar
  45. Maréchal JC, Dewandel B, Ahmed S, Galeazzi L, Zaidi FK (2006) Combined estimation of specific yield and natural recharge in a semi-arid groundwater basin with irrigated agriculture. J Hydrol 329(1):281–293. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Meyback M (1987) Global chemical weathering of surficial rocks estimated from river dissolved loads. Am J Sci 287(5):401–428. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Milnes E, Perrochet P (2006) Direct simulation of solute recycling in irrigated areas. Adv Water Resour 29(8):1140–1154. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mondal D, Gupta S (2015) Fluoride hydrogeochemistry in alluvial aquifer: an implication to chemical weathering and ion-exchange phenomena. Environ Earth Sci 73(7):3537–3554. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Morgenstern U, Daughney CJ (2012) Groundwater age for identification of baseline groundwater quality and impacts of land-use intensification–The National Groundwater Monitoring Programme of New Zealand. J Hydrol 456:79–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Négrel P, Pauwels H, Dewandel B, Gandolfi JM, Mascré C, Ahmed S (2011) Understanding groundwater systems and their functioning through the study of stable water isotopes in a hard-rock aquifer (Maheshwaram watershed, India). J Hydrol 397(1):55–70. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pauwels H, Pettenati M, Perrin J, Négrel P (2011) Vulnerability of intensively-exploited hard-rock aquifers to fluoride contamination in India: impact of global change. In Fourth International Groundwater Conference (IGWC-2011). (pp. 6-p)Google Scholar
  52. Pauwels H, Négrel P, Dewandel B, Perrin J, Mascré C, Roy S, Ahmed S (2015) Hydrochemical borehole logs characterizing fluoride contamination in a crystalline aquifer (Maheshwaram, India). J Hydrol 525:302–312. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Perel’man A I (1967) Geochemical barriers. In geochemistry of Epigenesis (pp. 213-234). Springer USGoogle Scholar
  54. Pettenati M, Perrin J, Pauwels H, Ahmed S (2013) Simulating fluoride evolution in groundwater using a reactive multicomponent transient transport model: application to a crystalline aquifer of Southern India. Appl Geochem 29:102–116. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Piper AM (1944) A graphic procedure in the geochemical interpretation of water analysis. Trans Am Geophys Union 25(6):914–923. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Purushotham D, Prakash MR, Rao AN (2011) Groundwater depletion and quality deterioration due to environmental impacts in Maheshwaram watershed of R.R. District, AP (India). Environ Earth Sci 62(8):1707–1721. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rafique T, Naseem S, Usmani TH, Bashir E, Khan FA, Bhanger MI (2009) Geochemical factors controlling the occurrence of high fluoride groundwater in the Nagar Parkar area, Sindh, Pakistan. J Hazard Mater 171(1-3):424–430. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Ramesham V, Rajagopalan K (1985) Fluoride ingestion into the natural waters of hard rock areas, Peninsular India. J Geol Soc India 26:125–132Google Scholar
  59. Rao NS (1997) The occurrence and behaviour of fluoride in the groundwater of the Lower Vamsadhara River basin, India. Hydrol Sci J 42(6):877–892. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Rao SM, Mamatha P (2004) Water quality in sustainable water management. Curr Sci:942–947Google Scholar
  61. Rao NR, Rao N, Rao KSP, Schuiling RD (1993) Fluorine distribution in waters of Nalgonda district, Andhra Pradesh, India. Environ Geol 21(1–2):84–89Google Scholar
  62. Reddy DV, Nagabhushanam P, Sukhija BS, Reddy AGS, Smedley PL (2010) Fluoride dynamics in the granitic aquifer of the Wailapally watershed, Nalgonda District, India. Chem Geol 269(3):278–289. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Salifu A, Petrusevski B, Ghebremichael K, Buamah R, Amy G (2012) Multivariate statistical analysis for fluoride occurrence in groundwater in the Northern region of Ghana. J Contam Hydrol 140:34–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Saxena V, Ahmed S (2001) Dissolution of fluoride in groundwater: a water-rock interaction study. Environ Geol 40(9):1084–1087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Schoeller H (1965a) Qualitative evaluation of groundwater resources. Methods and techniques of groundwater investigations and development UNESCO 54–83Google Scholar
  66. Schoeller H (1965b) Hydrodynamicue lans lekarst. Actes du Colloque de Dubrovnik. IAHS. UNESCO, Paris, pp 2–20Google Scholar
  67. Shaji E, Bindu JV, Thambi DS (2007) High fluoride in groundwater of Palghat District, Kerala. Curr Sci 92(2):240Google Scholar
  68. Singh SK, Srivastava PK, Pandey AC (2013) Fluoride contamination mapping of groundwater in Northern India integrated with geochemical indicators and GIS. Water Sci Technol Water Supply 13(6):1513–1523. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sreedevi PD, Ahmed S, Madé B, Ledoux E, Gandolfi JM (2006) Association of hydrogeological factors in temporal variations of fluoride concentration in a crystalline aquifer in India. Environ Geol 50(1):1–11. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Srinivasa Rao N (1997) The occurrence and behaviour of fluoride in the groundwater of the Lower Vamsadhara River basin, India. Hydrol Sci 42(6):877–892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Subba Rao N (2003) Groundwater quality: focus on fluoride concentration in rural parts of Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India. Hydrol Sci J 48(5):835–847. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Subba Rao N (2009) Fluoride in groundwater, Varaha River basin, Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Environ Monit Assess 152:47–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Subba Rao N (2011) High-fluoride groundwater. Environ Monit Assess 176(1-4):637–645. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Subba Rao N, John Devadas D (2003) Fluoride incidence in groundwater in an area of Peninsular India. Environ Geol 45(2):243–253. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Subba Rao N, Rao AT (2003) Fluoride in groundwater in a developing area of Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India. J Appl Geochem 5(2):99–100Google Scholar
  76. Subba Rao N, John Devadas D, Srinivasa Rao KV (2006) Interpretation of groundwater quality using principal component analysis from Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Environ Geosci 13:1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Subba Rao N, Subrahmanyam A, Babu Rao G (2013) Fluoride-bearing groundwater in Gummanampadu sub-basin, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Environ Earth Sci 70(2):575–586. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Subba Rao N, Dinakar A, Surya Rao P, Rao PN, Madhnure P, Prasad KM, Sudarshan G (2016) Geochemical processes controlling fluoride-bearing groundwater in the granitic aquifer of a semi-arid region. J Geol Soc India 88(3):350–356.
  79. Subba Rao N, Surya Rao P, Dinakar A, Nageswara Rao PV, Deepali Marghade (2017) Fluoride occurrence in the groundwater in a coastal region of Andhra Pradesh, India. Applied Water Science7, 1467-1478Google Scholar
  80. Subramani T, Rajmohan N, Elango L (2010) Groundwater geochemistry and identification of hydrogeochemical processes in a hard rock region, Southern India. Environ Monit Assess 162(1):123–137. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Thiessen AH (1911) Precipitation averages for large areas. Mon Weather Rev 39(7):1082–1089Google Scholar
  82. UNICEF (1999) States of the art report on the extent of fluoride in drinking water and the resulting endemicity in India. Report by Fluorosis and Rural Development Foundation for UNICEF, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  83. UNICEF (2008) UNICEF handbook on water quality. United Nations Children’s Fund, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  84. Vlassopoulos V, Gion J, Zeliff M, Porcello J, Tolan T, Lindsey K (2009) Groundwater geochemistry of the Columbia River basalt group aquifer system: Columbia Basin groundwater management area of Adams, Franklin, Grant, and Lincoln counties. Washington, USAGoogle Scholar
  85. Vrba J, Zaporozec A (1994) Guidebook on mapping groundwater vulnerability. HeiseGoogle Scholar
  86. Wodeyar BK, Sreenivasan G (1996) Occurrence of fluoride in the ground-waters and its impact in Peddavankahalla basin, Bellary District, Karnataka—a preliminary study. Curr Sci 70:71–74Google Scholar
  87. World Health Organization (2004) Guidelines for drinking-water quality (Vol. 1). World Health OrganizationGoogle Scholar
  88. Yidana SM, Banoeng-Yakubo B, Akabzaa TM (2010) Analysis of groundwater quality using multivariate and spatial analysis in the Keta Basin, Ghana. J Afr Earth Sci 58(2):220–21234. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Yidana SM, Banoeng-Yakubo B, Sakyi PA (2012) Identifying key processes in the hydrochemistry of a basin through the combined use of factor and regression models. J Earth Syst Sci 121(2):491–507. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ankita Chatterjee
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah Sarah
    • 2
  • Pagodala Damodaram Sreedevi
    • 3
  • Adrien Selles
    • 4
  • Shakeel Ahmed
    • 1
  1. 1.Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR)CSIR-National Geophysical Research InstituteHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of KashmirSrinagarIndia
  3. 3.CSIR-National Geophysical Research InstituteHyderabadIndia
  4. 4.IFCGR, NGRI- BRGM, D3E/NREHyderabadIndia

Personalised recommendations